As Pittsburgh continues down the road toward urbane rebirth we’ve even found new (old) ways to make happy-hour cool. Our fine city boasts a collection of elbow-bending craft cocktail spots. Yes that’s correct - craft cocktails. These fine drinks are made by well-trained mixologists and served with construction and care to be just as visual as they are tasty. Don’t think stained linoleum, smoky old-man bar. Think well-appointed social lounge with real glassware and a barkeep who’s as much artist as beverage tour guide. These watering holes come fully stocked with style and specialize in adult beverages that take artistry, education and effort to create. As the old saying goes, “It’s happy-hour somewhere,” so let’s have a few drinks shall we?
The cocktails are stiff and the dining room chandelier has an impressive rack — literally. Deer horns. Under the watchful eye of occasional taxidermy you will enjoy expertly mixed whiskey/gin/bourbon/rye drinks while savoring varied meats and cheeses. Stop in for a manly after work libation or share the common table and meet some new people in the heart of the cultural district.
Harkening back to the elegant noir of old Hollywood glamour, the Speakeasy sits quietly beneath the lobby of the Omni William Penn Hotel. It shines as a reclaimed, historic speakeasy. The low tin ceiling, leather banquettes and dark corners beckon for late evening nightcaps and conversation over prohibition-era cocktails.
Take a minute and have a chat with your bartender. Yeah they’re busy, but really it’s ok. The bar minders at Bar Marco aren’t mind readers but they’re full of great suggestions, especially when you don’t really know what you want. Oh, and the food is great too.
The artisanal cuisine and crafty cocktails blend well with the exposed brick walls and steel pipe fixtures all paying homage to Pittsburgh’s own heavy industrial roots. I recommend the Rhuby Rhuby Rhuby and the Carnegie Cucumber.
Sitting just across the street from Industry in the
Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh is this more-than-just-a-neighborhood-bar eatery. Love me some Tender. It’s an intimate space so arrive early with your sweetie or reserve space for larger parties. You really must get their home made tater tots to go with your lux libations. Who doesn’t love tater tots?
By no means is this a comprehensive list of fine Pittsburgh cocktail spots but it will get you through one or two very pleasant evenings. Please stay tuned for more because it’s always happy-hour somewhere. And as always, drink responsibly.